I hope this helps people here, as I've already been the recipient of so much help myself.
My experience with vectors is practically zero, so when the need arose used a program called "Vector Magic". http://vectormagic.com/home
You literally can import any image, and it will create a vector image for it. You can scale it to different sizes and output in many different formats. You can adjust the paths, choose how many colors, what colors those would be, etc. etc.
Attached are two files, a before and after. It's a blurry version of my logo, turned into a vector in about 3 seconds. It's obviously nor perfect. I used the auto settings as an example of the worst detail oyu will get. You can control many aspects of the output to achieve must better results. For simply images, like clipart type things, it can't be beat.
Hope it helps. I have no affiliation with the product other than being a customer. It's only after receiving my Emblaser that I noticed how truly helpful the little program can be.